What is your risk of recession? New budget app lets you know

Man on phone steps across recession gorge.

The Australian economy walks an increasingly delicate line between inflation and recession – and neither is good for ordinary people and their bank accounts. 

Rising prices push essential goods and services out of reach for those who need them most; recessions threaten livelihoods. 

Yet despite the increasing risks, a recent poll on Mozo’s Twitter reveals that people may not know if they can actually withstand a recession.

“I think it's difficult to want to see the changes,” finance journalist Leigh Stark told Mozo. 

“We all know prices are going up, but it’s such a pain point, and it's often easier to just live in the now and deal with it later, grumbling throughout it all.”

Luckily, Stark’s new budgeting app Simplsaver, known for crunching the cost of living, has just added a new exciting feature: a recession risk calculator.

How the CPI and inflation actually affect your budget

Collage of people using budgeting apps.

Thanks to runaway inflation, more and more Australians have turned to budgeting apps to weather the storm. But even some of the best budget apps don’t show you how price rises affect you – and how dangerous inflation truly is to your savings.

However, Simplsaver takes a different approach. What if it used the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a quarterly government measure of price changes, to see how well you can absorb inflation? 

“Costs go up, but you never get a great gauge of ‘by exactly how much’. If you're trying to budget, that's a problem,” says Stark. 

“It means we're all spending more than we'd like, and trying to change our habits largely in real-time.”

Instead, Simplsaver will look at the items in your budget, from groceries to rent to streaming, and compare them with how much costs are rising. Based on your salary, the app generates a risk of recession score: low, medium, high, or extreme.  

If you’re in the red, Simplsaver encourages you to take steps to avoid the budget spiral. Knowledge is power, after all.

Screengrabs of new budgeting app Simplsaver.
Images courtesy of Simplsaver.

“If we can make budgets more predictive, we can break down budgeting barriers and help people ride the risk of recession into cooler, calmer waters,” says Stark.

As a budget app, Simplsaver includes a useful lineup of features: it doesn’t sell your data, budgets your monthly take home, and is free to download for iOS. (Android users, don’t worry: Stark told Mozo he’s working behind the scenes to deliver an Android version soon). It’s one of many competitive offers on the market, including three-time Mozo Expert’s Choice Award winner Frollo.

“I think we all know what's coming,” warns Stark. 

“Reading the news doesn't typically make it any easier, and if it doesn't happen, even better. But getting a nudge about this and putting some money aside just in case might be the best approach. 

“This feature aims to do that, giving you a glimpse of what could happen and how it will affect your budget, which is better than no nudge at all.”


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